The Miami Dolphins spent $118 million on defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh this offseason, luring the free agent away from the Detroit Lions. Apparently, that doesn’t buy you showing up to voluntary workouts.
Suh is skipping this portion of Miami’s offseason, deciding to work out on his own accord, per Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. Miami doesn’t appear to have a problem with Suh’s decision, although one would imagine that can’t be the most popular decision in the Dolphins front office.
Suh did this in Detroit as well, working out away from the team facility before showing up for mandatory minicamp and training camp. If Suh produces the way he has throughout the first five years of his career, Dolphins fans and coaches alike will quickly move on from this choice. If not, it could be the start of some discord.
Miami defensive tackle A.J. Francis commented on the situation.
“He came the first couple of days, we ran and he did his thing,” Francis told the Palm Beach Post. “He went back to where he trains at. But that’s what he does. He’s the best d-lineman in the league so if he wants to train somewhere else that’s his prerogative. And nobody can tell him otherwise.”
Look, Suh is a fantastic player and there have never been any reports of him being out of shape or a bad teammate. From all indications, Suh is a true professional in all those aspects. The problem is how this looks. Suh was just made the highest-paid defensive player in the history of the NFL, and then skips all the voluntary stuff. Leaders are supposed to set an example for the young players, let them know how business should be taken care of. It’s not likely head coach Joe Philbin wants to see his team following this example.
All told, the Dolphins are expected to compete for the AFC East title, especially with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady suspended for the first four games due to his alleged role in DeFlateGate. Miami has retooled the roster, allowing Jared Odrick to walk while signing Suh. The offense also looks different with Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline gone, and Greg Jennings, DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills in.